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The Global GrapevineWhy Rumors of Terrorism, Immigration, and Trade Matter$
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Gary Alan Fine and Bill Ellis

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199736317

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199736317.001.0001

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Whispers on the Borderline

Whispers on the Borderline

(p.201) 8 Whispers on the Borderline
The Global Grapevine

Gary Alan Fine (Contributor Webpage)

Bill Ellis (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Rumors about foreigners, outside our borders or within, can be dangerous, both to the aliens and to ourselves. In an increasingly globalized world, we need good neighbors, even as differences cannot be erased. Five strategies may help us rise above the divisions that rumors perpetuate. We must question easy truth claims, acknowledge the reality of social change, remember the effects of the past, build upon our common strengths, and recognize that unity is a long‐term challenge. The goal of rumor study should not simply be to document rumors, for they always will exist, or to determine their fallacy, for they allege facts only to embody values. Rumors must be taken seriously, even if they are controversial, as they reveal beliefs and values that many people embrace. Objective study of them can help the world live together as a community.

Keywords:   rumor, community, social policy, trust, truth claims

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